Tag Archives: Fire-breathing dragon

Week 8 – Summer Short & Sweet – Final Challenge – Have You Thrown a Hissy Fit Lately?


“Do whatever you do intensely” – Robert Henri

Well, Susanna Leonard Hill, I thought Week 8 would be breeze, but I tripped and stumbled through your last challenge. Heather Newman’s painting made me gasp. One,–it’s lovely. And two,—a dragon, a castle, a knight, a damsel, and, and, and,–oh my! 🙂

Badge created by Loni Edwards

The last challenge was to write a piece based on Heather Newman’s lovely artwork, and Susanna’s tough criteria.

Artwork created by Heather Newman

1.  A pitch for a children’s story, any level (please specify PB (picture book), ER (early reader), CB (chapter book), MG (middle grade), or YA (young adult)) based on the picture, in the manner of Short & Sweet Week 6

2.  The first 50-100 words (more or less – whatever gets the creative juices flowing) of a children’s story, any level, (please specify PB, ER, CB, MG, YA) based on the picture.

3.  The last 50-100 words (again, more or less is fine – whatever works for you :)) of a children’s story, any level (please specify PB, ER, CB, MG, YA) based on the picture.

4.  Choose a character (there are at least 10 possibilities!) from the picture and introduce us to him or her – who he/she is, where he/she came from, how he/she got into this situation – a character sketch of sorts.

5.  Choose a character and give us a one paragraph synopsis of the story told by the picture from his/her point of view.

6.  The title of the story told by this picture – give us a good one! (Again please specify level).

7.  A poem following the rules from Short & Sweet Week 3 based in some way on this picture.

I persevered and crossed the finish line. Phew!

#6 – The title

Hot-headed Harold And His Hissy Fits (PB)

#1 – The picture book pitch

When a hot-headed lad finds his older sister locked in a tower, he has a hissy fit. Now Harold must steal the golden key from the ornery hag’s raven, slay the dragon, and rescue distressed Rampina before the dark knight claims her for his bride.

Thank you, Susanna. The challenges were fun, intriguing, and tough. I look forward to participating in future ones.

What challenges have you overcome in the last eight weeks?

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Evacuation Alert for the City of Gold! What Five Items Would You Take?


Timmins Daily Press

As I write this post, a fire-breathing dragon is wreaking havoc in the northern mining and lumber community where I was born and raised—Timmins, Ontario, a.k.a. the City of Gold. This is just one of many fires that has laid claim to over 45,000 hectares of forest. That’s akin to half the size of the City of Toronto!

On Monday morning, Terrol MacFarlane notified me of the horrific situation that is still unfolding. She said, “People are throwing their hands in the air and spouting off that all they can do now is pray.” Mortified, she screamed, “What?!!” Then she paused. “Let’s band together. Don’t tell God how big the problem is. Instead, tell Him how big your God is.”

Terrol also pleaded, “Pray for rain! The Noah type of rain!”

I scurried to my laptop and clicked on the You-Tube video she had just sent. My jaw dropped. I felt like I was hunkered down in a movie theatre watching a Stephen King horror flick. The nine minute video broadcast a spine chilling event that began Sunday, May 20th at 10:30 p.m.

The local press reported, “A forest fire broke out in a bush area of Timmins near the bottom of Rae Hill this evening, prompting city officials to evacuate areas east and west of the fire zone.”

As the video rolled, I shuddered. A massive plume billowed thousands of feet in the air, blotting out the early morning sun. Fanned by high winds, the fire crowned, and then tore through the treetops, spewing ash into the atmosphere. The dragon, brandishing a forked tongue, mocked the majestic landscape that lay directly in its path.

By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, timber dry trees crackled, snapped, and popped like Rice Krispies. A few minutes later, the blazing orange ball scorched the southern edge of the highway. Stunned motorists watched helplessly as the beast swept across four lanes of traffic, sparking fires on the north side. I blinked. All that remained were hot embers and charred vegetation.

The local press went on to say, “Local firefighters scrambled to try to get control, without success.”

As of 8:00 p.m., Thursday, May 24th, the roaring beast continues to ravage the northern frontier.

My prayers for safety and rain go out to the residents evacuated from their homes and cottages, and to the brave firefighters risking their lives for the City of Gold.

To view the video taken by Shawn Winsor, click on this link.

To view the firefighter tribute created by Madeleine Chester, click on this link.

Thank you Terrol for keeping me in the loop and for posing this question, “What would you take with you if you had to evacuate your home?”